Super Bowl champion and All Pro wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson joined ESPN in 2007 as a NFL studio analyst the same day he announced his retirement from the National Football League. He appears on Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown and Audibles, as well as ESPN’s NFL Draft and Super Bowl week coverage.
In addition to his television work for ESPN, Johnson contributes to ESPN Radio on Mike Tirico’s Weekend Blitz on Fridays during the NFL season, and he is co-host of the self-titled “NFL @ LA with Keyshawn Johnson” on 710 ESPN Radio in Los Angeles.
Johnson made his ESPN debut as a guest analyst (while still a member of the Carolina Panthers) on the main set during the 2007 NFL Draft. He has served as a guest host on ESPN and ESPN Radio programs. His on-air contributions have extended beyond football through personality and issue-oriented features and as part of major event coverage on both ESPN and ABC, including the SportsCenter Who’s Now series in 2007 during which he, Kirk Herbstreit and Michael Wilbon helped determine the “Ultimate Sports Star.”
The top overall pick by the New York Jets in the 1996 NFL Draft, Johnson played for four teams – Jets (1996-99), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2000-03), Dallas Cowboys (2004-05) and Panthers (2006) – during his 11 NFL seasons. One of the most productive receivers of his era, Johnson had 814 receptions for 10,571 yards and 64 touchdowns in 167 games. The three-time Pro Bowler helped lead the Buccaneers to a win in Super Bowl XXXVII. In his final season in 2006, he caught 70 passes for 815 yards and four touchdowns, becoming just the 16th player in league history with 800 career receptions.
A Los Angeles native, Johnson grew up near the USC campus and was a two-time All-American at Southern Cal under legendary head coach John Robinson. (He also served as a Trojans ball boy for six years during his youth.) Johnson ranks among USC’s all-time great receivers with 168 catches for 2,796 yards and 16 TDs. He had a school-best 17 100-yard receiving games during his career, including 11 consecutive regular season games, still an NCAA record. He led the Trojans to a Cotton Bowl victory his junior year and a Rose Bowl victory his senior year – earning back-to-back bowl MVP honors. During his senior year in 1995 he caught a Pac-10 record 102 passes.
Johnson was inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame in 2007, the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in December 2008, and the USC Hall of Fame in May 2012. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from USC in 1996. Prior to USC, Johnson was a Junior College All-American at West Los Angeles College.
In addition to his ESPN analyst role, Johnson is CEO of First Picks Management, a development company that focuses on franchise businesses in the foodservice and hospitality industries, and he is CEO of Keyshawn Capitol Development, a real estate company with projects in both residential and commercial space in the Los Angeles area.
In 2008, the Michael Awards named Johnson the “Best Dressed Man” of the year. A year later, Johnson added interior design to his resume with “Keyshawn Johnson: Tackling Design,” an 11-episode reality home design series on A&E. He also appeared in an episode of the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” as a celebrity guest judge in February 2009, and he started his own wine label, KJ1, in 2012.
Johnson previously hosted a weekly radio show, “Taking it to the House,” on Sirius Satellite Radio, and wrote the book “Just Give Me the Damn Ball!: The Fast Times and Hard Knocks of an NFL Rookie” with ESPN’s Shelley Smith. He remains active in various charitable organizations, along with educational and political causes, through both time and monetary donations. He returns frequently to USC to make guest appearances in the classroom and on the football field.